6 Alternatives to Fuel You Didn’t Know About

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Aside from the cost of buying the car in the first place, the price of fuel is the single greatest expense related to being a motorist here in the UK. Of course there are things you can do to limit how much fuel you use – accelerate and brake more gently, move into a higher gear earlier, make sure your tyres are fully inflated – but ultimately they make a limited difference to your vehicle’s petrol or diesel consumption.

However believe it or not traditional fuel isn’t your only answer, as the team at NMT Garages is about to reveal!


Okay, so we don’t recommend you start pouring cans of lager into your petrol tank, but beer can be used to form a (no doubt undrinkable) biogas that can power all kinds of different vehicles, and is being used in Sweden to run public service buses and at least one train.

Talk about drink driving…

Chip Fat

Coming in at around half the price of regular diesel, used chip fat (or rather vegetable oil) is a practical alternative to the black stuff, and providing it is for your own use you don’t have to pay the tax on it.

It will need to be filtered first, but your vehicle won’t need much in the way of modification, while you can also use it in conjunction with diesel rather than as a straight alternative.


Before you start stocking up on Dulux as an alternative to fuel, let us clear up what we mean when we say paint can be used to power your vehicle.

Back in 2005 a report in National Geographic explained how scientists were making breakthroughs in the field of spray-on solar cells that – potentially – could provide an unlimited, free source of electricity. An exciting thought, but one that is still probably some way off becoming a reality.

Dirty Nappies

Preparing to throw out all of those old nappies? Well hold on! As long as you have access to a sealed container in an oxygen-free environment, as well as the technology to break down human waste products into gas and fuel oil, you can transform those old Huggies into something that is much the same as diesel.


Wherever there is an excess amount of something we are always looking for ways to make use of it, and sawdust is one such material we produce an awful lot of.

Efforts to transform sawdust into a viable fuel are ongoing, but the closest researchers have gotten so far involves an end product called ‘producer gas’, which although a lot less efficient than petrol, is significantly cheaper – about 4p a gallon in fact.


Every year the best and brightest minds over at Toyota get together for the ‘Idea Olympics’, an event designed to give factory staff the chance to showcase some of their best and, quite frankly, craziest ideas.

One such idea involved harnessing the power of several on-board hamsters running in their wheel, converting that kinetic energy into electricity.

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